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Common Myths of Learning Disabilities

Learning disabilities are often very misunderstood, as are those who suffer from them. So often individuals are dubbed as unintelligent, dumb, or worse. Typically those with learning disabilities, especially the most common ones, are of regular intelligence who simply suffer from a misfiring of information as it approaches the brain for processing. Here, we explore some commons myths of learning disabilities and set the record straight.

People with Learning Disabilities are Dumb

Common Myths of Learning Disabilities

Common Myths of Learning Disabilities

Just because the brain may process or receive, or even display information differently than ‘normal’ does not mean an individual’s intelligence, or IQ, is subpar. Many people with learning disabilities have

average and sometimes even above average intelligence. Their brain simply processes information differently and they have to find ways, with accurate diagnosis and proper education techniques, to learn things. One common learning disability that has absolutely no correlation between intelligence and learning ability is dyslexia, where the brain simply misfires as it interprets letters, symbols and numbers. Once the diagnosis of dyslexia occurs, treatment is usually very successful in correcting the learning process so that the student can begin to catch up to their peers as much as possible.

People with Learning Disabilities will Outgrow Them

Unfortunately, learning disabilities are not something that can be outgrown. Adults with learning disabilities were children who had the same learning disabilities. Education and techniques can be provided to help the individual cope with their specific learning disability, and certainly to overcome hurdles and obstacles typically associated with having a learning disability. The goal with education is to help students learn tools and techniques so they are able to function as normally as possible when it comes to fundamental skills such as reading, writing, and speaking.

Individuals with Learning Disabilities are Just Being Lazy

A harsh reality is that those with learning disabilities are forgetful and will consistently miss important dates and meetings, and they will continue to be that way all of their lives. Even with proper diagnosis and treatment, and subsequent educational support and learning techniques, those who have learning disabilities will always have them. Thus, they will always struggle with what others would consider to be normal time management skills. This can cause significantly strained relationships and undue stress for all family members.

Learning Disabilities Do Not Affect Other Areas of an Individual’s Life

Children with learning disabilities frequently experience other challenges in their lives such as issues with social interaction, communication, and interpreting others gestures. It is difficult to fully define the scope of this issue but suffice it to say that those with learning disabilities will struggle throughout their life with being misunderstood and with misunderstanding others. Communication is a central core concept for all events in a person’s life, from school to work to personal relationships. An individual with a diagnosed learning disability will often find comfort in the presence of others with similar disabilities. There they will find less stigmatism and condemnation.

Making Educational Modifications for Students with Learning Disabilities Gives Them an Unfair Advantage

While it is true that there are ways of providing exams that don’t accentuate the student’s learning disability and instead focus on the core discerning of whether or not the student knows the material at hand; there are those who would say that giving alternative types of exams, say oral instead of written, are giving an advantage to those with learning disabilities. However, when the goal is only to ascertain whether or not the student has learned the core syllabus and course materials, then providing an exam that measures and assesses accurately is not fair or unfair. It is simply doing its job.

Making Such Modifications in Curriculum, Training, and Assessment Burdens the Faculty

The truth is that most modifications in training techniques take little or no time for the faculty to implement. Usually these modifications benefit all students and therefore help the classroom as a whole to better learn the material in a well-rounded manner.

Males are More Likely Than Females to Have a Learning Disability

In actuality boys and girls are equally susceptible to learning disabilities and there is no genetic or other basis to believe otherwise. Interestingly enough males are more likely to be diagnosed with a learning disability than females are by a ratio of 4 to 1. The reasons have more to do with girls more introverted behaviorisms than any science-based evidence.

People with Learning Disabilities Will Never Be Successful

Alexander Graham Bell and Albert Einstein both were known to have learning disabilities and look at what they were able to achieve in their lifetimes. Same goes for Sir Richard Branson, legendary founder of Virgin Group of companies who was diagnosed with Dyslexia when he was young.  It’s certainly true that having a learning disability will make life more challenging, but having the gumption to rise above these challenges will help young men and women grow up into strong individuals who are capable of any level of success they desire.

As you can see there are many myths about learning disabilities, especially as they relate to children and students in the educational system. In Singapore, it is not uncommon to have children diagnosed with these learning disabilities as well, find out the top 3 most common learning disabilities in Singapore.  Being diagnosed with a learning disability is not a death sentence. It is the beginning of a challenging journey, but one that can be rewarding just the same.

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